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Louisiana Overtime Laws: A Complete Guide to Louisiana Labor Laws 2024

Like other states, both state and federal labor laws apply in Louisiana. In the context of overtime labor laws, employers in Louisiana are legally obligated to compensate eligible employees at a rate of one and a half times their regular wage rate for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.

For employers, understanding Louisiana overtime laws 2024 is essential for legal adherence and fostering a work environment where employees’ contributions are valued. Awareness of overtime regulations can save employees from costly legal disputes and improve employee satisfaction.

This article thoroughly explores Louisiana overtime laws and details how employers manage workforce overtime.

In Louisiana, as of 2024, the standard working hours are typically 40 per week. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) adopted the working hours rules, and Louisiana has no state policies regarding standard working hours and breaks. This means that private employers in the state are not obligated to provide either meals (lunch) or rest breaks.

However, most employers in Louisiana provide these breaks as a standard practice to maintain a productive and healthy work environment. Furthermore, if you are hiring minors (under 18), Louisiana labor laws mandate that such employees must be provided a 30-minute break after working 5 hours.

Another essential rule regarding working hours and breaks in Louisiana is that employers should pay for fewer than 20 minutes. It is a stipulation from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers should also pay attention while scheduling unpaid breaks during work hours. If breaks are provided, they must be scheduled in a manner that does not violate the minimum wage and overtime requirements set forth by the FLSA.

Louisiana Overtime Rates

As of 2024, Louisiana overtime laws have no state statutes, and the state follows FLSA overtime provisions. Under this provision, employers must pay overtime to eligible employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek. The standard overtime rate in Louisiana is set at one and a half times the employee’s regular pay rate.

The overtime calculation is relatively simple if an employee has a standard work week of 40 hours. Other scenarios can involve work weeks of less than 40 hours or variable elements in the income, such as commissions. It’s crucial for employers to accurately calculate this rate based on the employee’s standard pay, which may include hourly wages, salaries, commissions, and specific bonuses.

Here's how you calculate overtime rates in Louisiana in different scenarios

1. Regular rate where bonuses or commissions are involved:

Regular rate = (Total hours x hourly rate + workweek equivalent of the bonus and/or commission) / Total hours in the workweek 

In this case, employers are required to pay half of the regular rate for each overtime hour.

2. Regular hours less than 40:  

In this case, employees are required to pay regular wages for each hour up to 40 and 1.5 times the regular rate for the rest of the hours. For instance, if you typically have a 30-hour work week, and an employee has worked 16 overtime hours a week, then you will pay them a regular pay rate for 10 hours and 1.5 times the regular rate for the remaining 6 hours.

 Any updates or changes to overtime rates must be communicated to employees promptly. Also, employers should monitor any adjustments at the federal level as it could necessitate changes in how overtime is calculated and paid.

Overtime Entitlement in Louisiana

As Louisiana follows the FLSA overtime laws, employers must pay overtime to all non-exempt workers. Generally, all hourly employees are eligible for overtime pay. The distinction comes for certain salaried employees depending on their job duties and salary level. FLSA clearly classifies “exempt” or “non-exempt” employees. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay regardless of their job title or salary.

Exempt employees are executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and certain computer employees. However, employees who work in any of these roles but earn less than $684 a week are entitled to overtime pay. This is a partial list; for comprehensive details on exemption from FLSA, visit here.

Therefore, it’s necessary that employers correctly classify employees to avoid misclassification issues, which can lead to legal complications and financial penalties.

Overtime for various types of employees

Employers in Louisiana must accurately categorize their employees as it affects their overtime pay. Misclassification or incorrect calculations can lead to legal issues and financial penalties. Employers should regularly review their payroll practices to comply with current laws and regulations.

Hourly, tipped, salaried, and commission-based employees are all dealt with differently under the Louisiana labor laws. Here’s a breakdown of overtime calculations for various types of employees.

  • Hourly employees 

Calculating overtime pay for hourly employees is easiest as there are no exceptions here. All hourly employees are paid one and a half times their regular hourly rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

  • Tipped employees

Overtime for tipped employees, such as waitstaff, is calculated considering their standard hourly wage and tips. Employers in Louisiana must ensure that the combined income of tipped staff meets at least the minimum wage for all hours worked, plus the appropriate overtime rate.

Tipped employees must receive overtime pay for hours beyond the standard 40-hour workweek at 1.5 times their regular pay rate. Employers can use a tip credit system to offer tipped employers reduced minimum wage. However, the tipped credit system must be separate from the overtime calculation as employees cannot calculate overtime pay at a rate lower than the minimum wage (i.e., $7.25) rate.

  • Salaried employees

A salaried employee is an individual who receives a set pay regardless of the hours worked. Non-exempt salaried employees must be paid overtime. Employers must calculate their hourly rate based on their weekly salary and hours worked to determine the correct overtime pay.

As workweek hours can vary for salaried employees, employers should calculate the regular rate as follows:

Weekly Pay = Annual Salary divided / 52 weeks

Hourly Pay Rate = Weekly Pay / 40 hours

Salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay if the weekly pay rate exceeds $684 weekly. All other salaried employees must receive overtime at 1.5 times their regular wage rate. For example, if an employee gets a salary of $600 per week and works 5 hours overtime, their overtime pay will be:

Regular hourly rate: $600/40 hours = $15/hour

Overtime rate: $15/hour * 1.5 = $22.50/hour

Overtime hours: 45 hours – 40 hours = 5 hours

Overtime pay: $22.50/hour * 5 hours = $112.50

Employees on Commission

If employees earn commissions, their overtime rate must factor in commissions when determining the regular pay rate for overtime calculations. Louisiana overtime laws clearly state that employees on commission must be paid overtime at 0.5 times their regular wage rate, including commissions.

The complication arises in determining their regular rate of pay factoring in the commissions. Let’s understand it with an example. Consider an employee who earns a weekly salary of $7.25/hour, receives $200 in commissions, and works 50 hours a week.

Total earnings = (50 x 7.25) + 200 = $562.50

Regular Rate of Pay = $562.50 / 50 hours = $11.25/hour (new hourly rate)

Overall rate of pay = $11.25 / 2 = $5.60

Total overtime pay = $5.60 x 10 = $56

Overtime pay exemptions and exceptions

Employers should be aware of the exemptions in Louisiana overtime law to ensure they are not paying overtime to ineligible workers. 

Here are the employees who are exempted from overtime laws:

1. Executives: Employees whose primary duty is management, who regularly direct the work of at least two or more other employees, and who have the authority to hire or fire other employees are exempted.

2. Administrative: These employees perform office or non-manual work related to management or general business operations. They also exercise discretion and independent judgment.

3. Professionals: This includes employees requiring advanced knowledge in science or learning or a creative or artistic field.

4. IT: Certain computer employees may be exempt if they meet specific criteria related to their job duties and compensation.

5. Outside Sales: Employees primarily making sales or obtaining orders or contracts away from the employer’s place of business are exempt.

6. Farmers, transportation workers, and live-in housekeepers are also exempted.

Employers should be careful when classifying employees in these categories, as misclassification can lead to legal issues. Reviewing job descriptions, duties, and salary levels to ensure compliance with the latest FLSA regulations is critical.

How and when an employee can claim for unpaid overtime pay

Employees in Louisiana are entitled to take action if they have not received the overtime pay. Employers must have a mechanism for workers to resolve the issue internally by bringing the matter to the employer’s attention.

Employees can take legal action if the employer does not address the unpaid overtime pay issue. Such employees have two years from the date of overtime law violation to report the issue under FLSA. This period is extended to three years if the employer violates Louisiana overtime laws. Employees can claim unpaid overtime pay by reaching out to either the state or federal court.

However, in Louisiana, employers have the right to transfer cases to federal court.

Consequences for employers failing to pay overtime pay

Employers in Louisiana who fail to pay the required overtime can face significant legal and financial consequences. This can include payment of the owed overtime pay to the employees and additional fines and penalties.

Under FLSA, employees can file civil lawsuits against employers for failing to pay overtime. In this case, if employees win, the employer will have to pay double the overtime pay. In addition to civil lawsuits, the U.S. Department of Labor can fine such employers up to $1,000 per violation. In some cases, if the violation is found to be willful and repeated, employers might also face criminal charges, leading to fines and, in extreme cases, imprisonment.

Here are some cases of such legal actions taken by employees against employers.

These cases illustrate how important it is for employers to adhere to Louisiana overtime laws and practice proper employee classification and accurate time tracking to ensure compliance and avoid legal action and financial liabilities.

How can Truein help with overtime pay management?

Truein is a cloud-based time and attendance management solution that offers robust overtime calculation features. Companies across industries benefit from the accuracy and seamless integration of Truein into their payroll systems.

Our hardware-less solution provides employers with the tools and features to streamline overtime compliance and calculation processes. 

There are several ways how Truein can assist with overtime management:

  • Automatic, facial-recognition-based attendance and time tracking accurately record and monitor employee work hours, including regular and overtime hours.
  • Truein automatically calculates overtime hours based on customizable rules and regulations, including federal and state labor laws. Employers can define overtime thresholds, rates, and eligibility criteria with policy management.
  • Robust real-time reporting and analytics features allow employers to track and analyze overtime trends, patterns, and costs.
  • With over 70 customizable policy templates, employers can ensure compliance with overtime pay regulations automatically.
  • Truein seamlessly integrates with payroll systems, allowing for accurate and efficient overtime pay and regular wage processing.
  • Employees can access their time and attendance records using the Truein mobile app, view their accrued overtime hours, and monitor overtime pay. 

You can learn more about Truein’s features here. By leveraging its advanced features and functionalities, employers can streamline processes, mitigate risks, and maintain fairness and transparency in overtime pay practices.


Louisiana overtime laws protect the rights of employees and provide employers with clear guidelines on various aspects of overtime calculation. A comprehensive understanding of regulations, entitlements, and best practices can help employers prioritize compliance with these laws to mitigate legal risks.

By staying informed and leveraging Truein’s capabilities, employers can effectively manage overtime pay and ensure fair treatment of their workforce by Louisiana labor laws.

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